April 18, 2005

Filming in the Studio

The filming in the studio went really well, we managed to create some moody lighting, which looked great on the back brick wall, highlighting the unequal bricks and giving wuite a stark background. We shot someone in the chair saying a line from the play that related to our Jason/Medea speech

'This tragedy effects you as well'
'Poor children, what an evil mother you had'
'Did i take a sword and murder them?'
'You think it's nothing to a woman to be rejected?'
'A woman can sensible, but you're mad'

We shot all of our group saying all the lines, with a person standing at the back of the wall, representing the other side of the story, and plan to cut them all together so that the lines can be seen from both the male and female perspective


March 02, 2005

Maths Block Filming

Maths Block Filming

Owen, James, Ricardo, Sophie, Zoe and myself headed to the maths block, (which, by the by, is far too nice and arty for people who only do sums) to film some shots to compliment the live stage action. We'd already had a bit of a play with Owens digital camera and worked out some ideas, so once we got the supergofast camera it was all systems go!

I really like the stark whiteness of the maths block, its a blank contemporary canvas which is a real contrast to the other installations, the collage and the chorus masks etc. Also there are lots of balconys and levels, so there was lots of opportunities to express the relationship between Medea and Jason visually, beginning with shots of them close together in a small space, and then increasing the distance and the space; making the characters look small and insignificant in comparison to the landscape.

Trying to keep to the focus of the piece, we wanted to reduce the characters of Medea and Jason to just a female and a male. We'd tried to express this through setting up a shot, and filming a male and a female doing the exact same thing; for example clutching the railing (Rothelites vision). I really liked a shot we did from outside looking through the huge glass window where you could see the first and second floor, and having jason and Medea standing in exactly the same space and pose but on different floors. I was worried that it was all a bit ambiguous, but we planned to film some speech from the text in the studio as well, and i think once it's in the midst of the other installations it will add an intersting dimension.


February 20, 2005

Magda Goebbels

Women Who Kill Their Kids

Magda Goebbels; interesting contemporary link to Medea. Magda was the mother of seven children by Josef Goebbels, an influential Nazi speaker in World War Two, she poisoned her children, before killing herself when the Nazi regime was overrun and they were forced to move to one of Hitler's shelters.

Magda


The Medea Experience

We had lots of creative ideas for how we wanted to express our thoughts on Medea, and so we decided on a series of installations, an experience rather than a performance. The 'Medea Experience' has the focus of Medea Vs. Jason, the gender roles within the play explored through different mediums, in the context of the culture of the time, and with a contemporary twist.

We divided into sub groups, which is working well as it's difficult to coordinate such a large group. One group is working on an art piece, a collage expressing contemporary ideas surrounding the play. There will be a video and some live performance, as well as a group focusing on some of the chorus speeches and creating some tableaus. Not fogetting of course our sound technicians Jack and Rich.

I'm working on the live performance and also in the video. The video is going to express a contemporary Medea and explore the saughter of the children. Through the video we are looking to express the killing of the children as a product of both Jason and Medea, by using exactly the same scene but interchanging Medea with Jason, trying to show Jason's fundamental role in the murder of the children. We are planning to have the video running the whole time, with a set of headphones that audience members can listen to at any point during the experience. The video will be juxtaposed with the live performance aspect, using some of the original speech but also experimenting with swapping the roles of Jason and Medea.


Interrogation

Jack H., Zoe and I set about terrorising the campus armed with a dictaphone and the ambiguous question 'what does Greek tragedy mean to you?' . In between the ums and errs were some interesting ideas, especially as we were lucky enough to find a post grad Theatre student and a group of English Littters. When asked about Medea and Jason, most found Medea's actions to be unforgiveable, and that Jason emerged as a clear victim. Many based their arguements on the values of family, and the responsibilities of a parent to protect and nurture. This is also where Jason came in for criticism, as many felt he had responsibilities to Medea and their children beyond the financial. However we did manage to unearth a student who felt that Medea was worthy of our sympathy, as she responded to her plight through the only means that would be heard, murder.

The people we spoke to, although initially hesitant, responded passionately, showing that the play is still material for debate, and that the issues remain both topical and polemical today. We also want to incorporate the sound clips into our final piece.


Reactions to Medea

Medea

Jason Vs. Medea. May the battle begin.

Dr. Hugh Denard catalysed events with a discussion/shouting match concerning Euripedes and the audiences sympathies; whether they reside with Jason or Medea. During the reading of Medea i was not emotionally engaged with the characters, as i found the translation to lack feeling, and that Euripede's version was simply a series of events, with little character depth or development. However on reflection i found that even if i did not empathise with the characters, i could certainly empathise with the events and issues within the play, and was surprised at how easy it was to draw contemporary comparisons.

I sided initially with Jason; although i do not find the play to be that clear cut. I found Medea to be selfish, dangerous and merciless in her actions, primarily in the killing of her children, but also in her own interests of self preservation and her cold and calculating plotting. However i can also see that the killing of the children is a reaction to a misogynistic society, and that her extreme violence was her only means of expression. There is also of course, Medea's own arguement of the mercy killing, in that if she had not taken the lives of her children herself, it would have been someone else; Medea felt that as she had given them life, it was her responsibility to take it away.

Jason is a whole new kettle of fish. It's true, that his action are lacking in moral substance, as he leaves his wife and children, offering no support other than finnancial, and on top of that exiling Medea to make room for his new bit of fluff. However Jason doesn't kill anyone, and he suffers the loss of his wife to be, father-in-law to be, and his children. Some may argue that because Jason is a man, he didn't need to resort to expressions of violence to be heard, and, in his own way, he was also responsible for the children's death as if it hadn't been Medea, it would have been someone else. In conclusion, I find it easier to sympathise immediately with Jason, but on reflection Medea is a victim of circumstance; a powerful character forced to commit horrific crimes to be heard in a patriachal society.


October 15, 2004

SST1

October 15, 2004
Visual Resources Staging the Eumenides
Orestes Vases

Unless you're some kind of vase expert

it is impossible to determine whether these are depictions of ancient theatre or silly myths. However the vases feature feature women, who didn't act in the Greek theatre. Also, there aren't any images of masks & elaborate costumes etc so it seems to be a bit unrealistic yet could be someone's personal interpretation and not an intended factual vase.
Erinyes

Seeing as the Goddess of retribution is covered by a massive snake and floating on a stick, we find it hard to believe the Greeks would have been able to simulate this in performance

hence we say myth.
AESCHYLUS, ORESTEIA
AGAMEMNON, LIBATION BEARERS, EUMENIDES

The vase gives a defined image of an important scene in Aeschylus' Oresteia therefore this may have been how it was performed by the Greeks. The site outlines each aspect of the painting on the vase with great detail thus it seems to be quite valid.

Respones

In response to the images viewed, we think that the vases are useful if you have a detailed backgrounf knowledge of the use of these artifacts however, if it's something that you're researching for the first time, there are more conclusive resources such as primary sources i.e. ancient texts, that we would find far more useful.

What makes a good evaluation?
Hannah & I think that the direct links to particular sites make a good evaluation. As we're not extensively knowledgable, in many areas to be honest, the use of images proves to be

nice.

Responses to Blogs
Franckie B's Blog

Franckie outlines each website clearly & concisely, as well as explaining it's main features & why they're useful to us as students. Moreover, she explains how easy the sites are to use & gives reasoning behind why she thinks some websites are better than others.

Laura's Blog

Laura's blog gives ideas of how to improve the websites and she uses photo images as links. In addition, she explains why she personally finds the sites useful, for example, the foundations of the stage, which she hadn't seen pictures of before. Laura also provides links to visual tours of the wesbites directly so it's easier for students to access it from her blog.

Owen's Blog

Owen's blog uses concise language & is direct with his comments. His use of humour makes it much more interesting to read & appeals to us as students more than an extensive description would. He provides a link to a website that he personally found, which is unique because it includes lists of Greek foods & information about their clothing & home life.

Kali's Blog

Kali details the online library site, which is a useful resource for students. She also breaks down which websites are most useful to us as students. Moreover, Kali has found an additional timeline website, which helps contextualise the other information.

Students taking SST1
Blogs
Amy's blog (Amy Walker)
Anna's blog (Anna Jones)
Beck's blog (Rebecca Whitaker)
Cook Pass Babtridge (Julia Maynard)
Frankie B's blog (Francesca Read)
Guido's blog (Hannah Tovey)
Hannah's blog (Hannah Clapham)
Helen's blog (Helen Fearnley)
If You Like A Lot Of Chocolate On Your Biscuit (William Hill)
James's blog (James Browning)
Kali's blog (Kalila Butler)
Kate's Blog (Kate Crossland)
Laura's Blog (Laura Matthews)
Marie's blog (Marie Fenton)
Musings of a Deviant (Richard Jephcote)
Natalie's blog (Natalie Diddams)
Oscar Wildes Den Of Debauchery (Jack Cole)
Owen's blog (Owen Hughes)
Porcelain Heart Promises (Ian Carter)
Sam's blog (Samuel Brassington)
Sarah's blog (Sarah Deeks)
The Great Midget Hunt Society (Gethin Jones)
We're Not All British, you know. (Annisa Muchtar)
Alec Guinness = Genuine Class (James Rothwell)


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